zero waste alternatives for products in plastic packaging

the green walnuts - package-free shopping - zero waste alternative
Some products seem to come in plastic, no matter what, and others can be easily found package-free. If you have the same problem, I have a few alternatives for products which are usually wrapped in plastic.

Plastic Free July is almost over and you are all highly motivated to continue your plastic free journey, am I right? J With this list of alternatives, it might be easier.


the green walnuts - alternative shampoo




shampoo and body wash.

In most bathrooms are at least two plastic bottles in the shower. One shampoo bottle and one body wash. However, it rarely stops there. You will also find a bottle of body lotion, another filled with conditioner and pretty much one for each region of the body.

If you now think, you can do that differently: I couldn’t agree more. You will find various plastic-free alternatives for shampoo in this article.

A soap bar is good enough for the rest of your body, trust me. At first, I wasn’t convinced either because I used the wrong soaps. My skin felt dry and tense and I was really happy to use up the rest of my body lotion (in a plastic bottle…).

By now, I learnt that I just needed a natural soap with a higher fat content to make my skin feel smooth and pleasant. Take advice (in Vienna e.g. at Alles Seife or Machma Seife) if you are not sure and do not want to try out the whole range. Unpackaged soaps are also available at many supermarkets (e.g. denn’s) or at zero waste shops such as Lunzer’s Maßgreisslerei or Der Greißler.



Especially during summer, you rely on your deodorant. I haaate this moment, when you start smelling yourself. And don’t look at me with big eyes, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Natural deodorants do not have the best reputation and from my experience justifiably. I tried different products for ages and I am really happy I found Sonnengrün, which offers so many plastic-free alternatives!

Unfortunately, my current deodorant made by Sauberkunst is not suitable for summer because it starts melting in the heat.

I would prefer glass packaging during the hot months, so nothing can leak.

If you do not want to buy a deodorant there are plenty of options to make your own! Here is a recipe for a spray bottle, or one and another to smear in your arm pits.



As we are already talking about personal hygiene: the toothpaste tube.

A better alternative is toothpaste in recycable packaging, toothpaste tabs (“dent tabs”) (available in many package-free or bulk shops), clay or any other tooth powder.

I never made my own toothpaste, but once more there are plenty of options out there: with coconut oil, baking soda or bentonite clay.



zero waste grocery shopping




milk and co.

Many milk products come in plastic packaging or coated cardboard boxes. If you want to avoid this, you better pick glass bottles or bring your own container.

Milk, yoghurt or sour cream are often sold in glass containers, preferably through a deposit system to reuse the glass again before it gets recycled.

Cheese can be purchased at many farmer’s markets package-free.  Just bring your own container and ask nicely if they could put the piece of cheese in it.

Another alternative is to make your own milk – plant-based. I have a recipe for hazelnut milk right here.




As I had to read quite a few times in the last weeks: many tea bags contain plastic! So far I picked loose tea leaves because I wanted to avoid the overall packaging. I did not know even the bags itself can contain plastic.

You live and learn, therefore: buy loose tea. If you want to avoid the paper packaging as well, look for a tea shop close by and bring your own bag or tea caddy.




plastic bags

The easiest way to reduce your waste is to refuse plastic bags. Bring your own shopping bag, a few cloth bags for fruit and vegetables and maybe another one for bread and baked goods. #choosetorefuse

And if you want to avoid cling film for storage, take a look at these alternatives here.


Now a question for you: which products are hard for you to find plastic-free? What did I miss on my list?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *